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Wake Up Call: LeClairRyan Trustee Settles UnitedLex Case for $21M

May 17, 2022, 12:58 PM

In today’s column, a new ABA survey finds progress by Big Law firms on diversity but white males are still dominating partnerships; a Hogan Lovells internal memo provides details on what it takes to become partner at the firm; TRM Labs hired the Justice Department’s former cyber digital task force head as general counsel.

  • Leading off, the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for defunct Richmond law firm LeClairRyan has agreed to a $21 million settlement with legal services giant UnitedLex, according to reports citing court transcripts. The trustee’s lawsuit, alleging that LeClairRyan’s joint venture with UnitedLex greased its slide into bankruptcy, was due to begin this week. (Richmond BizSense) Quinn Emanuel, as counsel to the trustee, would receive $10.5 million in legal fees out of the settlement. Greenberg Traurig is representing UnitedLex. Neither side admitted fault, reports say. (Reuters)
  • The American Bar Association’s third Model Diversity Survey found that Big Law firms before the pandemic hired more Hispanic, Black and Asian associates. But it also found that women and diverse attorneys are still more likely than white males to leave the legal profession and less likely to get promoted to partner. (American Lawyer)
  • Hogan Lovells in an internal memo detailed steps its lawyers have to take to make partner at the firm. For example, it says they should have 2,400 hours “all in” total contribution, including billable hours plus additional contributions, this report says. ( International)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • A federal appeals court Monday ordered a new trial for a man whose proceedings early in the pandemic could only be accessed by the public via audio stream. (National Law Journal)
  • The London High Court ruled Monday that Dechert and the firm’s former head of white-collar crime, Neil Gerrard, leaked to the press details of an investigation of Dechert’s then-client, mining company Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation. The court also found that the UK Serious Fraud Office was in “serious breach” of its duties in the case, which goes back to 2011. (Global Legal Post)
  • The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement division, Gurbir Grewal, urged counsel for public companies to work more cooperatively with the agency. (WSJ)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher recruited entertainment transactions lawyer Steve Hurdle as a partner in Los Angeles. He arrives after close to 12 years at Loeb & Loeb, including as partner and deputy chair of the capital markets & corporate department; Norton Rose Fulbright snagged Hunton Andrews Kurth environmental regulation and government affairs lawyer Scott Burton as a partner in its Los Angeles and Washington offices; Foley & Lardner hired business litigator Tammy Westerberg as a partner in Denver. She represents clients in the energy, financial services, consumer products, real estate, and cannabis sectors; Womble Bond Dickinson grabbed veteran Troutman Pepper bankruptcy attorney Donald Detweiler as a partner in Wilmington, Delaware. (
  • Katten Muchin said former SEC senior attorney Lori Jacobs has joined the firm as a financial markets and funds associate in Washington. She’s the firm’s first OnRamp Fellow in a Diversity Lab program that offers a one year paid fellowship aimed at helping women return to the legal profession after taking time off to raise children. (
  • Blockchain analystics company TRM Labs hired the former head of the Justice Department’s cyber digital task force, Sujit Raman, as general counsel based in Washington. Raman, who was a DOJ associate deputy attorney general, was recently a partner at Sidley Austin. He brings expertise in data privacy, national security, cybercrime prevention and cryptocurrency; Josh Tarnow, former vice president for legal affairs of Lebron James’ businesses The SpringHill Company and UNINTERRUPTED, has started his own law firm Sirkin Tarnow LLP based in Los Angeles. (Deadline)


  • MyCase, a provider of cloud-based practice management software and payment services to law firms, said it acquired Docketwise, a practice management platform used by immigration practitioners. (PR Newswire)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at